Informing Policy for Child Nutrition Programs: Operations Study ll

2015-2020
Prepared for
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service

Federally funded school-based child nutrition programs operate in every state and include programs such as the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program At-Risk Afterschool Meals Component, the Summer Food Service Program, the NSLP Afterschool Snack Component, and the NSLP Seamless Summer Option. To manage these programs effectively, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) collects and analyzes information from state-level management reports. However, FNS desires supplemental information on current policy issues that cannot be answered with program reports.

To enable FNS to collect supplemental program data in a timely and efficient manner, Mathematica develops modular surveys that are administered annually between the 2015-2016 and 2018-2019 school years. The study team collects and analyzes survey data from nationally representative samples of public school food authorities and all state child nutrition agencies. These data inform upcoming policy and regulation decisions and program budgets, provide descriptive information on aspects of program administration, and are used to identify areas in need of technical assistance and training. Mathematica is a subcontractor to 2M Research.